What an amazing game!!!! A tough game and gritty nailbiter! What a coaching job on display. Watching the game it looked like to me early in the beginning the coaching stafff and team were loose, which was a key way to be under such stressful situations, but the Hoyas simply just played. They out hustled Butler, they fought hard, they gave it all they had.
This game was amazing for so many reason's and Hoyanation knows why. All they needed to do is play hard, play smart and have fun.I think they did. This is a tough and well earned game. We've seen games like this from the Hoyas in the past, but as an undermanned team. This game was surreal. Starks stepped up when he had to. He took his team into overtime with an heroic deadly three pointer. Senior leaderhip is what he showed tonight against Butler.
Great first half for the Hoyas as they shot 48%. Rivera led his team in shooting 7-11 (15 pts.). 4 rebs., 3 assts., 1 block. The Hoyas came out fired up in the first half never getting behind. Their strong inside play payed dividends. Butler seemed to have no answer for the Hoyas. Hopkins seem to be everywhere inside.
Midway through the second half the Hoyas had a lull, but Bowen came threw with a dribble drive baske.This put the Hoyas up 47-39. With 5 mins left to go in the game Starks found his way to the basket for two to out his team up 52-47.
Butler took the lead but the game went back and forth. I don't know if it was me or the referees fouling out three of the Hoyas big men Lubick, Hopkins, and Ayegba. What I found strange during the course of this game was how many times Butler went to the free throw line, the Dawgs shot 25-33 @75.8%. Hoyas outrebounded Butler 43-38. 13-9 assists for the Hoyas and 5 blocks.
The Hoyas got the free line shot only 8-16 @ 50%. Although the Hoyas were undermanned they still managed to stay focused, hungry and poised during Butler's run. Three Hoyas reserves scored a total of 20 point off of the bench to Butler's 14 all points scored by the Dawg's Andrew Chrabascz. The Hoyas shot 45.3% for the game.
They had their backs against the wall. All the odds were against them. From academic issues to a transfer to an injury to a key player, who is a starter and a defensive specialist for the Hoyas this game was truly a Jimmy V Never Give, never give up, never give up moment for me.
It always great to see the former Hoyas come out and support the alma-mater. Thanks Big Roy you were going hard for your boys, the Hoyas! Your support is always a blessing,
"FAITH THROUGH ADVERSITY" - JOHN THOMPSON JR.